Class of 1971 Fall 2018 Letter

Dear Friends,

Class agents are writing an early newsletter this year, and I’ll include some suggested information later.  As I’m writing this for an August 10 deadline, I’m reminded of Luther memories I don’t share in these letters, nor do we share them often at our five-year reunion gatherings:  Summer memories.  What were your summer patterns after that last class in May?  I usually headed back to Escondido for my YMCA job and occasionally helped my dad in the orange and avocado groves, but during the summer of ’70, classmate Jim Schroeder and I were able to hitchhike around Europe for two months. The month before I worked for Scott Addington (’69) at his Waterloo chicken distribution warehouse.  Some of you stayed around Decorah for summer jobs, some were able to travel, and some attended summer school classes. I imagine we could collect a bunch of summer work stories. 

At our next reunion (2021- our 50th), as I’ve mentioned in these letters before, our class will be invited to make a special contribution to our alma mater.  I’m going to start a savings account to put in extra change toward my part.  Can I encourage you to keep our gift in mind during the next three years?   Our assistance can allow a young woman or man to receive the special life experience we shared at Luther through a variety of scholarships.

Here’s an update on classmate Gary Kallevang:  “I have been retired for about five years and greatly enjoy the freedom to travel, recreate and act on my various dilettantish whims.  Before retiring I spent most of my legal career doing tax litigation for the IRS in Washington, D.C. I now live in Frederick, Maryland, about an hour north of D.C.”

Please send me updates and pieces of information to share from time to time just to keep the newsletter fresh.

Here are some thoughts from the Development office:

It’s the start of a new school year at Luther, one that promises to be as wonderfully action-packed as ever. In August, the college welcomed 575 new students to campus. Over the summer, they read a book that many Luther grads will remember from Paideia: The Odyssey. This year’s edition comes with a twist: it’s the first English translation by a woman, Emily Wilson, and by all accounts it’s a vivid, engaging, and sprightly retelling of the classic homecoming story. If you’re up for a return to your Paideia roots, you can join the fun through Luther’s reading guide to the book:

Speaking of homecomings, this year we’ll celebrate two important milestones during Luther’s Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. First, the Black Student Union (BSU) commemorates its 50th anniversary this fall. There are several events planned during Homecoming and throughout the year to celebrate the founding of the organization—including forums, lectures, a brunch, and a BSU reunion—so mark your calendars. Luther’s Nursing Department also observes a birthday—its 40th—this fall. Homecoming Weekend, Kris Dreifuerst ’85 will lead a workshop for nursing educators and deliver the Ironside Distinguished (Alumni) Lecture in Nursing, which will be followed by an open house at Luther’s simulation lab.

In addition to Homecoming lecturers, Luther will welcome other notable speakers to campus this season. On October 23, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will deliver the Farwell Distinguished Lecture, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.” His book of the same name, published earlier this month, explores how the cultural climate of “safetyism” on college campuses across the U.S. interferes with the healthy development of students. He argues that recent social and cultural trends are setting children up to fail as healthy, autonomous, adaptable adults. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can get a snapshot through Haidt’s Atlantic article:

Finally, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. Luther’s Board of Regents is taking the necessary steps in the presidential search process with the hope of transitioning leadership over the course of next summer and having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni. We hope you’ll let us know what’s new in your life too! Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.

Jim Hinrichs
1971 Class Agent
380 Wheelock Parkway E., #304
Saint Paul, MN 55130
[email protected]


Tim Becker teaches marketing and management at Alliant International University in San Diego. He just returned from his second teaching trip to Wenzhou University in Wenzhou, China.

Jean (Pederson) andHarry Hindson ’70 live in La Crosse, Wis. Jean retired in May as associate professor of Spanish at the University of Wisconsin, but continues to support world language teacher education through professional organization presentations and teaching K-5 students Spanish once a week at a local elementary school. Harry has gone back to playing the organ, taking lessons, and substituting occasionally at Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse.

Kate (Stadler) Haugen is former associate vice president of student affairs for North Dakota State University. Kate was keynote speaker at the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) 2018 Leadership Summit where she spoke about her career path with regards to leadership and management.

Scott Lee retired again. The first time from 33 years teaching at Trempealeau (Wis.) Elementary School, and the second time from teaching environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

Nancy (Arnold) VanderVort retired as executive director of the Minneapolis law firm of Felhaber Larson.

Jim Wagner of Albuquerque, N.M., is an editor for Daddy Wags Editing.